Trump Formally Serves One-Year Notice to Withdraw From Paris Agreement

Steve Zwick

US President Donald Trump has ensured climate change will be a top issue in the 2020 presidential race by formally serving notice to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement the day after next year’s election. Long expected, the formal announcement will focus attention on regional efforts within the United States and international efforts to move forward if Trump wins reelection in 2020.

5 November 2019 | The US presidential election is one year away, and the Trump administration marked the date by formally giving the United Nations its one-year notice of intent to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.

The withdrawal is officially set to take place the day after the 2020 election, meaning the US will pop back into the agreement two months after the agreement if Trump loses next November. That ensures climate will be a top issue in the year-long campaign that lies ahead, and it leaves the rest of the world in a sort of limbo state regarding the United States. France and Germany, for example, say they want the US on board as a global partner in the effort to meet the climate challenge, but they have also gone ahead with a proposal to impose carbon taxes on goods imported from high-emitting countries, including the United States.

The announcement comes as climate negotiators prepare for year-end climate talks, which will take place next month in Madrid, Spain, from 2 through 13 December. There, countries are supposed to be submitting plans for ratcheting up ambition under the Paris Agreement.

Within the United States, regional and voluntary efforts are also moving forward.

“Cities, states, and businesses haven’t had a formal place at the negotiating table, but the Paris Agreement succeeded in large part because their voices were heard,” said former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a statement. “They will keep us moving forward until we have a president who will confront the climate crisis and put the public’s health and safety first.”

Bloomberg heads an initiative called America’s Pledge, which tracks regional efforts within the country. On Monday, he announced that regional and private sector actors will once again host a “US Climate Action Center” at year-end talks to serve the role the US pavilion had done before the election of Donald Trump as President.

Steve Zwick is a freelance writer and produces the Bionic Planet podcast. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Ecosystem Marketplace, and prior to that he covered European business for Time Magazine and Fortune Magazine and produced the award-winning program Money Talks on Deutsche Welle Radio in Bonn, Germany.

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